Author`s name Lisa Karpova

Queen of Sweden tries to save father's image

Queen of Sweden tries to save father's image. 45113.jpegA report was commissioned by Queen Silvia of Sweden to clarify the link between her father and Nazism during the '30s in Germany. Silvia commissioned the report in reaction to the Swedish "Kalla Fakta" ("Cold Facts") TV program that portrayed her and her father negatively.

It indicates that Walther Sommerlath helped the Jewish businessman, Efim Wechsler, to flee to Brazil. Up until the report, the evidence indicated that Sommerlath had taken advantage of the prevailing anti-Semitic context to appropriate Wechsler's company.

The connection of Sommerlath, who knew Silvia's mother when he came to live in Brazil in 1920, with Nazism, is undoubted. Some time ago the Swedes questioned the queen's past. However, she had never given sufficient statements on the subject.

The report by the Swedish program revealed that the German would have taken control of the company through an Aryanization program sponsored by the Nazi party. But the report commissioned by Queen Silvia shows that her father would have swapped the factory for a coffee plantation in Brazil, helping the Jewish business owner go to South America.

A group of holocaust survivors said, however, that the evidence is clear that Sommerlath collaborated with the Nazis. The group said the report has gaps and lacks credibility. The Queen has also been criticized for explanations that were given about the episode in which she stated that her father had joined the party to save his career, but was never active in it. According to the groups of survivors, this is a speech commonly used to justify participation in the atrocities of Nazi Germany

He returned to Germany at the height of Nazism, in 1938, the same year the NSDAP was banned in Brazil, seeing the "motherland" recovering from the ashes. He took over Wechsler's electrical appliances company in Berlin a year later.

The household appliances factory became a producer of military supplies up to the end of the war when it was bombed. With the end of the project, the Queen's family moved to Brazil where they had large coffee plantations.

Silvia Somerlath met the future King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf, during the Munich Olympics in 1972, while working as an interpreter. The wedding was in 1972. Silvia's father died in 1990, but his connection to Nazism was only revealed more than ten years later.


Translated from the Portuguese version by:

Lisa Karpova